What’s Next For The Marvel Cinematic Universe After Hawkeye?

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Marvel’s Hawkeye, the newest Disney+ series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe finished its 6-episode run today. So, what exactly happened, and is about to happen? We’ll try to break all that down.

A lot of characters appeared in this newest series based on Marvel Comics. And although some would say that Hawkeye is just an excuse to give Jeremy Renner more screen-time as Clint Barton considering his character didn’t have such huge roles in previous projects (like Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow), the series still had characters and events that might’ve affected the future of the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Prior to the release of the series, Disney officially announced Marvel’s Echo, a spin-off Disney+ series focused on Maya Lopez, also known as Echo. Alaqua Cox debuted as the character in Marvel’s Hawkeye, and the events of the series have set up her own spin-off series, although we didn’t get any kind of teaser or a post-credit scene of what’s to come in her own series, or what’s to come for any other character for that matter. Seriously Marvel, you didn’t have any better idea for the post-credit scene?

Marvel’s Hawkeye also brought back Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk, also known as Kingpin. D’Onofrio played the notorious crime lord in Marvel’s Daredevil, a series that aired on Netflix between 2015 and 2018. Charlie Cox recently reprised the role of Matt Murdock in Spider-Man: No Way Home, which means that Kevin Feige has a lot of plans for the MCU characters that were introduced on Netflix, and those shows (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, The Defenders, The Punisher) are now seemingly as canon as they come.



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Upcoming MCU projects

Last week, the newest MCU movie Spider-Man: No Way Home was released. Today, we watched the series finale of Hawkeye. Both of these projects have set up a lot of possibilities and potential events in the future of the MCU. Although we don’t know when most of the main characters from those projects will return, we know what all-new projects are about to come out next year.

2021 was pretty good for Marvel fans. Five Disney+ shows and four MCU movies were released. Next year, we are also set for a wild ride. The closest project is one of these upcoming Disney+ shows; She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight. Neither of them has a specific release date, but Disney announced they will be released in 2022. With the next movie Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness set for release in May 2022, it’s safe to say Disney will fill that 5-month gap with at least one, maybe even two of those mentioned shows.

Also, next year we can also expect Secret Invasion, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, and I am Groot on Disney+. As for the movies, after Doctor Strange 2 in May, we also have Thor: Love and Thunder set for release in July, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which is set to be released in November 2022.

MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOWING

Kate Bishop’s MCU future? Will Clint Barton Return?

Prior to the premiere of Marvel’s Hawkeye, it was announced that the series will serve as the introduction of Kate Bishop, Clint Barton’s protégé who’s set to take up the mantle (or bow and arrow) of Hawkeye. Just like Sam Wilson became the new Captain America, Kate was set to become the new Hawkeye. Did she though? Well, kinda. Okay, the point is that Clint and Kate worked together in the series finale, they defeated the Tracksuit mafia, and Clint invited Kate to spend Christmas with him and his family. The episode ended there, so what’s next for this dynamic duo? It’s known that we’ll see Kate again in the future of MCU. In which project exactly? No one knows.

As for Clint Barton, most of the fans expected that this series will bid him farewell and let Kate continue the path of Hawkeye. But is this really the last we saw of Clint Barton? It didn’t seem like that, to be honest. Although Clint tried to retire a couple of times before, some unexpected events always made him grab bow and arrow again. The producer of the series recently teased that Jeremy Renner might not be done with Clint Barton after all, and Renner remained coy about his MCU future. Since we don’t know when or where Kate Bishop is gonna show up next, we can only presume that Renner might appear again as her mentor. Only time will tell.



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What’s next for Yelena Belova?

Florence Pugh debuted as Yelena Belova, a Black Widow assassin and Natasha Romanoff’s sister in the Black Widow movie earlier this year. Yelena quickly became one of the fan-favorite characters, and she returned in Marvel’s Hawkeye with one purpose only – to kill Hawkeye. The post-credit scene of the Black Widow movie showed Yelena visiting Natasha’s grave, where was accompanied by Julia Louis-Dreyfus‘ Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, who showed Yelena Clint’s picture, telling her that he’s responsible for Natasha’s death. As expected, Clint managed to explain Yelena everything in the Hawkeye finale.

Yelena established herself as an important figure of MCU in this series, but what’s next for her? That is one more question for which Marvel didn’t bother to offer us an answer. At least not yet. The fans are expecting that Yelena will become MCU’s main Black Widow after Natasha’s death, which follows that pattern of original Avengers getting successors for the future of the MCU. We don’t know when we’ll see Yelena again, but considering the on-screen chemistry that Florence had with Hailee Steinfeld, we can only hope that Yelena and Kate will be like Black Widow and Hawkeye 2.0.



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Echo (and Kingpin)

Alaqua Cox debuted as Maya Lopez, also known as Echo in Marvel’s Hawkeye. Prior to the premiere, Disney announced that Cox will return in Marvel’s Echo, a spin-off series focused on her character. Maya’s father was killed by Clint Barton back when he was Ronin, and Kingpin raised her. Maya wanted revenge against Clint until he told her that he was tipped off by Kazi, Maya’s best friend, to kill her father. As a result, Maya left Tracksuit Mafia and killed Kazi. At the end of the episode, she also pointed a gun at Kingpin, and gunshots were heard off-screen, which could mean that she killed Kingpin, but it could be that writers want to lead us on the wrong trail. It is unknown when the Echo series will premiere and what is going to be about specifically, but we are waiting to find out more about Echo and her MCU adventure. If there’s a possibility that we could see Kingpin again, it would be in the Echo series.

Eleanor Bishop

Vera Farmiga played Eleanor Bishop, Kate Bishop’s mother. Although it seemed like she’s there only to be a worried mom while her daughter is out there, trying to save the world, it turned out she was more sus than anybody. Her husband, Kate’s father, died during the Battle of New York back in 2012, and she was recently engaged with Tony Dalton’s Jack Duquesne, also known as Swordsman. The series finale revealed that Eleanor has been working with Kingpin, she killed Armand Duquesne, Jack’s uncle, and framed Jack for it. Eleanor wanted to quit business with Kingpin, but Kingpin doesn’t take no for an answer. Kate managed to save her mother from Kingpin, but right after that, Kate turned Eleanor to the police. With Eleanor in jail, Kate spent Christmas with Clint and his family. It’s presumed that that could be the end of the story for Eleanor, although, she’s still alive, and since Kate still has the future in MCU, it’s not impossible that we could see her again, at least for some prison visitation scene.

All six episodes of Marvel’s Hawkeye are now streaming on Disney+. The next project that has the official release date set is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness — May 2022. Still, it’s presumed that Marvel will release at least one more series on Disney+ before that, and that could be either Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, or She-Hulk.

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